Mystery blast shakes Malmö neighbourhood

On Friday night, a heavy explosion shook the Malmö neighbourhood Hermodsdal, in southern Sweden, breaking windows and damaging cars.

There were no reported injuries from the explosion and the neighbourhood did not have to be evacuated, according to Jimmy Modin of the Skåne police force, who spoke with the TT news agency.

On Saturday morning, the police’s technical investigation of the site was finished.

“It’s still unclear exactly what detonated, but now we’re going to analyze the finds we made on the scene,” said the Skåne police force’s press contact Nils Norling to the local newspaper Sydsvenskan.

As well as analyzing what was found, the police are now be interviewing witnesses.

Several curious people living in the area came out and gathered on the streets after the explosion, but according to the police the atmosphere remained calm, reported Sydsvenskan.

The police were alerted to the scene at 9.36pm, and sent a large squad to investigate. By 10.30pm the detonation spot had been found and the area was cordoned off.

The explosion has been classified as “destruction endangering the public”.

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Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

The chairwoman of the Police Association West Region has said that police special tactics, known as Särskild polistaktik or SPT, should be available across Sweden, to use in demonstrations similar to those during the Easter weekend.

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

SPT, (Särskild polistaktik), is a tactic where the police work with communication rather than physical measures to reduce the risk of conflicts during events like demonstrations.

Tactics include knowledge about how social movements function and how crowds act, as well as understanding how individuals and groups act in a given situation. Police may attempt to engage in collaboration and trust building, which they are specially trained to do.

Katharina von Sydow, chairwoman of the Police Association West Region, told Swedish Radio P4 West that the concept should exist throughout the country.

“We have nothing to defend ourselves within 10 to 15 metres. We need tools to stop this type of violent riot without doing too much damage,” she said.

SPT is used in the West region, the South region and in Stockholm, which doesn’t cover all the places where the Easter weekend riots took place.

In the wake of the riots, police unions and the police’s chief safety representative had a meeting with the National Police Chief, Anders Tornberg, and demanded an evaluation of the police’s work. Katharina von Sydow now hopes that the tactics will be introduced everywhere.

“This concept must exist throughout the country”, she said.

During the Easter weekend around 200 people were involved in riots after a planned demonstration by anti-Muslim Danish politician Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), that included the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Police revealed on Friday that at least 104 officers were injured in counter-demonstrations that they say were hijacked by criminal gangs intent on targeting the police. 

Forty people were arrested and police are continuing to investigate the violent riots for which they admitted they were unprepared. 

Paludan’s application for another demonstration this weekend was rejected by police.

In Norway on Saturday, police used tear gas against several people during a Koran-burning demonstration after hundreds of counter-demonstrators clashed with police in the town of Sandefjord.